How does Operation Eyesight help address the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals through implementation of the SAFE strategy? (Read Part 1).
The photo essay below explains how the SAFE strategy and the MDGs seek to address similar issues. (Photos taken by Ric Rowan in Narok, Kenya. Photo caption information adapted from the International Trachoma Initiative.)
MDG 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: Reducing the number of people blinded by trachoma helps break the devastating cycle of disability, poverty and disease. In addition, boreholes developed as part of the SAFE strategy provide fresh water for gardens, crops and livestock, which serve as a source of food and income.
MDG 2 – Achieve universal primary education: School attendance, by both girls and boys, is improved by preventing the chronic recurrence of trachoma in children. Additionally, preventing blindness among adults means that children do not have to stay home to care for their parents.
MDG 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women: Because trachoma is more prevalent among women than men, trachoma inhibits gender equity. By eliminating the threat of trachoma, we improve a woman’s ability to become an active participant in her community and contribute to her family’s socioeconomic stability.
MDG 4 – Improve child mortality: SAFE implementation reduces infant mortality through improved sanitation and the reduction of serious illness.
MDG 6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases: Through the implementation of the full SAFE strategy, the elimination of blinding trachoma as a public health problem can be achieved, freeing the world of the leading cause of preventable blindness.
MDG 7 – Ensure environmental sustainability: Environmental change, including wells and latrines, provides access to safe, clean water and sanitation. Community-led committees maintain the wells and latrines, ensuring the sustainability of these environmental changes.
MDG 8 – Develop a global partnership for development: In order to eliminate blinding trachoma, we need collaboration among partners at all levels. This collaboration is demonstrated through Operation Eyesight’s involvement with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), Vision 2020 and Seeing is Believing. We are all working together towards a common goal: to eliminate avoidable blindness!
Thank you to our donors for supporting us as we implement the SAFE strategy and work to address the MDGs! To learn more about our trachoma projects, visit our Programs and Projects pages.